Participate in RESPECT’s 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge Against Systemic Racism beginning June 3rd

U.C. Libraries announces R.E.S.P.E.C.T.’s annual 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge — a three-week long, self-guided learning exercise that focuses on different aspects of systemic racism, and how we can all fight against it. All are welcome to join the challenge as they are able, as each week has multiple resources in various media formats.

This year’s challenge, which begins June 3rd, includes a focus on contemporary issues such as structural racism in health care, white privilege and “not-racist” vs. “anti-racist.” The 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge includes a variety of resources to read, watch and listen to, along with suggested ways participants can take action in the hope to build a stronger, more diverse and inclusive University of Cincinnati community.


This year’s 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge is available online via a LibGuide (link coming soon) and is comprised of three weeks’ worth of learning resources, with a different topic assigned to each week.

  • Week 1 (June 3rd – June 7th): White Privilege as a Legacy of Racism
  • Week 2 (June 10 – June 14): Structural Racism in Physical and Mental Health Care
  • Week 3 (June 16 – 21): “Not Racist” vs. “Anti-Racist” Ideologies

Participants are encouraged to engage with each week’s learning resources as they are able. It is not required to read, watch or listen to all resources if time does not permit.

At the end of week three, Thursday, June 20 from 10:30a.m. – 11:30a.m., R.E.S.P.E.C.T. will host a Zoom meeting to discuss the challenge, what was learned and how participants can take further action.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. (Racial Equity Support & Programming to Educate the Community Team) is a UC Libraries committee charged with developing external programming that explicitly addresses the negative role that systemic racism plays in our society. 

Join the UC Libraries R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Team for a full roster of programs in April

The University of Cincinnati Libraries RESPECT (Racial Equity Support Programming to Educate the Community Team) has as its charge to use library resources to expand programming and resources that provide library users with the tools to understand systemic racism in order to begin dismantling it. Upcoming, RESPECT is sponsoring three events that are free and open to all to attend.

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Join us April 11 for “Protests, Boycotts, Lawsuits and Persistence: Reflections on Police Reform and Public Pressure in Cincinnati”

DETAILS: Thursday, April 11, 3:30pm, Walter C. Langsam Library FEC 540E – with remarks by Linda Newman, Iris Roley and Al Gerhardstein.

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Cincinnati in 2000 – 2002 was alive with ideas for change and disagreement on how to make it happen. The presenters will discuss protests, boycotts and other activism that pressed for progressive goals including police reforms. Tension among the reformers, deep frustration with racial discrimination and economic oppression will also be the basis for reflection. One outcome of these efforts was the Collaborative Agreement and broad citizen engagement on public safety issues in Cincinnati that have been cited as a national model. The current state of the Collaborative Agreement will be reviewed as well as ongoing efforts to improve public safety while reducing arrests and mass incarceration. Opportunities to get involved in justice issues will also be shared.

  • Linda Newman was a leader in the Coalition for a Just Cincinnati (CJC), and one of the persons sued by the Cincinnati Arts Association which sought to end a boycott by artists the Coalition organized.
  • Iris Roley has served as the Program Director of CBUF for the past 24 years and also remains engaged in the implementation of the Collaborative Agreement.
  • Al Gerhardstein is a civil rights attorney and has represented the Cincinnati Black United Front (CBUF) for the last 24 years.  He remains engaged in the implementation of the Collaborative Agreement.

In 2022, prominent civil right attorney, Al Gerhardstein donated his papers to UC Libraries. Housed and available for study and research in the Archives and Rare Books Library, the extensive collection includes briefs, pleadings, depositions, trial transcriptions, newspaper, magazine and journal articles, as well as correspondence and speeches spanning Gerhardstein’s career and notable legal cases.

The event is free and open to all and is presented by a mini grant the UC Libraries RESPECT (Racial Equity Support Programming to Educate the Community Team).

Preventing Systemic Discrimination of Persons with Disabilities:  How You Can Initiate the First Steps

When/Where: 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm, Tues., April 9 and Wed., April 10, Room 462 Walter C. Langsam Library

Join UC Libraries for two workshops aimed at educating and promoting change and empathy related to the systemic discrimination of persons with disabilities – “Preventing Systemic Discrimination of Persons with Disabilities: How You Can Initiate the First Steps.” Matthew Sauer, assistant director of accessibility resources at UC Clermont College, will facilitate hands-on activities and develop individual stories to give attendees a foundation in the systematic discrimination of persons with disabilities and challenge them to determine what transformations and next steps they will take for themselves. The result of the workshops will be to envision a strategy for building a culture of inclusion at the university and in UC Libraries with the hope that the feedback from these sessions will lead to annual events regarding the impact of eliminating systemic intolerance in favor of equity. 

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New Library Exhibit Explores Decolonizing the Library Catalog

decolonizing the library catalog

A new exhibit on display on the fourth floor lobby of the Walter C. Langsam Library explores “Decolonizing the Library Catalog.” An important purpose of a library catalog is to ensure discoverability of materials. In addition to keywords that may or not be present in the book title or other parts of the record, subject headings are assigned to indicate the topics of library resources. Subject headings are created and maintained by a group of authorities, such as the Library of Congress, to help users find materials on a given topic. Headings are generally based on standard, contemporary American English-language usage and are intended to reflect current literature. (Adler). Subject headings can be problematic when they center whiteness, include outdated or offensive terminology and omit concepts related to people’s experiences. The display explores these issues, includes examples of problematic subject headings and lists ways in which people are working to update and improve the Library Catalog.

“Decolonizing the Library Catalog” was curated by Susan Banoun, team leader in eResources & Access, Mikaila Corday, eResources Department, and Olga Hart, coordinator of library instruction. It was designed by Francesca Voyten, communications design co-op student. The exhibit is sponsored by the Libraries RESPECT (Racial Equity Support Programming to Educate the Community Team) in honor of Black History Month.

To learn more, a print bibliography is available at the exhibit and posted below as an image.

UC Libraries Closed Monday, Jan. 15 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

UC Libraries will be closed Monday, Jan. 15 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The Libraries will resume normal hours on Tuesday, Jan. 16.

Want to learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr., his impact and legacy, and how you can make a difference? Check out these library resources or watch this SWAY created in 2023 by the Libraries Racial Equity, Support & Programming to Educate the Community Team (RESPECT).

martin luther king, jr.

Join UC Libraries in reading and discussing “The Sum of Us”

sum of us

UC Libraries’ RESPECT (Racial Equity Support Programming to Educate the Community Team) is hosting a book club featuring “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We can Prosper Together” by Heather McGhee starting in January ’24 with monthly online discussions concluding with in an in-person talk in April.

The first 50 people to request a book will receive a physical copy.

In “The Sum of Us:”McGhee embarks on a deeply personal journey across the country from Maine to Mississippi to California, tallying what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm—the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others. Along the way, she meets white people who confide in her about losing their homes, their dreams, and their shot at better jobs to the toxic mix of American racism and greed. This is the story of how public goods in this country—from parks and pools to functioning schools—have become private luxuries; of how unions collapsed, wages stagnated, and inequality increased; and of how this country, unique among the world’s advanced economies, has thwarted universal healthcare.

Penguin random house

Beginning in January, the book club will meet via Zoom to discuss the text over a series of three Fridays from 10:00-11:00am, January 26, February 23 and March 22. These meetings will culminate in a final wrap-up discussion on Friday, April 5 in-person and facilitated by Sinclair Community College’s Chief Diversity Officer Michael Carter. 

To sign up to participate and be sent more information, fill out this form. The first 50 people to request a book will receive a physical copy. Physical copies and ebook access are also available to check out through UC Libraries. For any additional questions, e-mail Nimisha Bhat at

UC Libraries commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a week-long online learning event

martin luther king, jr.The UC Libraries Racial Equity, Support & Programming to Educate the Community Team (RESPECT) will be hosting an online asynchronous, interactive program to commemorate and celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Visit the online presentation beginning Jan.17 to read and listen to Dr. King’s speech, “The Other America,” then engage in conversation and learning throughout the week of Jan. 17-21.


Grumpy Cat Says “Respect Your Fellow Students”


Artwork by Julie Robinson, Library Operations Manager

The UCBA Library welcomes you to the start of what we hope to be a fun, enlightening and productive year!, In that spirit, we ask that when you are in the library to be respectful of others by keeping your conversations quiet, taking your phone calls outside and using headphones at a low volume. ​

Looking forward to a great year!

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